NCSL to Live Stream 9 Legislative Summit Sessions


Topics Range from Excellence in Education to Recreational Marijuana

NCSL press release

Denver – Would you like to know how states are achieving excellence in education, how states are addressing cybersecurity threats or what states can learn from pioneering states when it comes to legalized recreational marijuana? The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has you covered and will host live web streaming of select sessions from the 43rd annual NCSL Legislative Summit in Boston on Aug. 6-9.

For 43 years, the NCSL Legislative Summit has brought legislators and staff together from both sides of the aisle to tackle critical problems and find solutions that work. Viewers can watch each streamed session for free. They will be webcast on

The selected sessions are as follows. All times are Eastern:

Captioning Legislative Webcasts |Sunday, Aug. 6 | 2:15-4 p.m.

Increasingly, states are providing captions for the deaf and hearing impaired as part of their live webcasts of legislative proceedings. Learn about the issues concerning accessibility and captioning, including live stream captioning, necessary software, support on mobile devices and browsers and potential impact on remote testimony.


  • Jeff Ford, Indiana General Assembly


  • Bruce Ellsworth, South Carolina State Legislature
  • Daniel Kerr, Swagit, Texas
  • Sanjiv Menezes, Sliq Media Technologies, Quebec
  • Paul Pak, Massachusetts General Court

Expecting the Unexpected |Sunday, Aug. 6 | 4:15-5:30 p.m.

A sudden special session, protesters at the capitol, a natural disaster or security threats—legislative staff are on the front line when the unexpected happens. Hear from colleagues in various roles about how they prepared for, dealt with or found solutions for unexpected situations.


  • Raúl Burciaga, New Mexico State Legislature
  • Peter Capriglione, North Carolina General Assembly
  • Anthony "Steve" Pike, Virginia General Assembly

Legislator Pride: Reclaiming the Image of Public Servants |Monday, Aug. 7 | 10:15-11:45 a.m.

You worked hard to get elected because you care about your community and about important issues that affect your state. You want to make things better. But many citizens don’t see you that way, and public opinion of elected officials seems to decline every year. Learn how to reverse that trend and reclaim and rebuild the image of public servants doing work essential to American democracy.


  • Representative Kristin Conzet, South Dakota


  • Corey Cook, School of Public Service, Boise State University
  • Senator Toi Hutchinson, Illinois
  • Karl Kurtz, Legis Matters, Colorado
  • Gene Rose, At Last Communications, Colorado
  • Steven Rothstein, John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, Massachusetts

Excellence in Education: Lessons from MA | Monday, Aug. 7 | 1:30-3 p.m.

For years, Massachusetts has topped national and international rankings for student achievement in math, science and English Language Arts. It's the result of a strategic vision set years ago by education officials in Massachusetts, and policies and practices put in place to meet that goal. Learn more about student achievement in the state and the successful strategies used to earn it a top spot in the world.


  • David Driscoll, David Driscoll Consulting, Massachusetts
  • Representative Alice Hanlon Peisch, Massachusetts
  • Jim Peyser, Executive Office of Education, Massachusetts
  • Paul Reville, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Massachusetts

Policies for Legislative Technologies | Monday, Aug. 7 | 3:45-5 p.m.

Social media, personal and state-owned devices, email and text messages all raise questions about whether, and how legislators and legislative staff use them, how the records they create are retained (or not) and which are subject to public records requests. Discuss how legislative policies were developed, what legislatures considered and how they came to their conclusions. 


  • Michael Adams, Virginia General Assembly


  • Richard Brown, Nebraska State Legislature
  • Susan Byorth Fox, Montana State Legislature

Deep Dive: Communicate to Succeed | Tuesday, Aug. 8 | 10:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

If there were only one skill that determines your success as a legislator, staffer or lobbyist, it would probably be the ability to communicate your ideas efficiently and effectively. You’ll gain practical tips and acquire the tools needed to give short, compelling presentations. 


  • Senator Bill B. O'Neill, New Mexico
  • Marianna Swallow, Illinois

Seven Secrets to Leadership | Tuesday, Aug. 8 | 2:15- 3:30 p.m.

Learn strategies legendary leaders use every day. Discover how to deal with constant change, increasing pressure and the need to adapt quickly. Through activities and humor, you will be ready to apply these secrets immediately.


  • Josh Davies, The Center for Work Ethic Development, Colorado

What Happened to the American Dream? | Wednesday, Aug. 9 | 9:30-10:45 a.m.

The idea that children can achieve a higher standard of living than their parents was part of the American dream. But a recent study from Stanford and Harvard says this no longer holds true. Just 46 percent of 30-year-olds today are making more than their parents did at age 30. This changing landscape will affect consumption, the job market and the economy.


  • Kenan Fikri, Economic Innovation Group, Washington, D.C.
  • Robert Manduca, Harvard University, Massachusetts

Cannabis Crosses the Country | Wednesday, Aug. 9 | 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Lawmakers from states that recently legalized recreational marijuana at the ballot box have plenty to learn from the pioneering states when it comes to taxation, product regulation and other issues. But no one is certain how all this may change with the Donald Trump administration. Explore the complexity and uncertainty of state cannabis laws. 


  • Lewis Koski, Freedman & Koski Inc., Colorado
  • Representative Daniel Pabon, Colorado
  • Jordan Wellington, Vicente Sederberg, Colorado


Reflective of its national membership, NCSL’s Legislative Summit is held in a different city each year. This year’s Summit is projected to generate more than $10 million in economic activity in Boston. All meetings held in conjunction with NCSL’s Legislative Summit are open to the press. Registration is required, but free to credentialed members of the media. Online registration is open through Aug. 2; on-site registration for media is available between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Please review NCSL’s media policy before registering.


NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.